Third Sunday after Epiphany C
A Gaian reading of 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
By Valerie Luna Serrels
12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
12:13 For in the one Spirit we were all created into one body – Jew or Gentile, all faith traditions or no faith traditions; of all genders; of all languages; of all colors – black, brown, white skin, green and multi-colored scaly skin, fur, feathers, stems, flowers and roots; two-legged, four-legged, multi-legged, legless, winged, finned, and rooted; All creatures, minerals, and elements of land, sea and sky;
12:14 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many diverse members!
12:15 If the tree would say, “Because I am not a human, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
12:16 And if the river would say, “Because I am not an eagle, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
12:17 If the whole body were a tree, where would the sense of ambulation be? If the whole body were a human, where would the sense of roots moving through the earth be?
12:18 But as it is, the Source-of-All-That-Is arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as s/he chose.
12:19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?
12:20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body.
12:21 The head cannot say to the mountaintop, “I have no need of you,” nor again the heart to the butterfly, “I have no need of you.”
12:22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
12:23 and those members of the body thought less honorable we give greater honor, and those we deem less respectable members are treated with greater respect;
12:24 whereas those we deem most respectable do not need this. But the Source-of-Life has so arranged the body, giving great honor to those deemed inferior,
12:25 that there may be no dissension within the body, but all members may have equal care for one another.
12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, the body of Gaia, and individually members of it.
12:28 Universal Intelligence has designed within all of life those members who ambulate from one place to another sowing seeds, those who interpret hidden meanings beneath the surface of things, those who teach from multiple intelligences; then deeds of moral power and resilience, then gifts of healing and restoration, forms of guidance and enlightenment, forms of leadership, multiple forms of language.
12:29 Are all ambulators? Are all interpreters? Are all teachers? Do all possess multiple intelligences?
12:30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in various forms of language? Do all interpret hidden things?
12:31 But avail yourself to the gift in you for the benefit of the whole Body.
Valerie Luna Serrels is the founder and guide of Shenandoah Valley Church of the Wild in Virginia, located within the North River/Shenandoah River watershed, traditional shared hunting grounds and connection trail for the Monacans, the Shawnee Nation, Six Nations People, Catawba and Cherokee nations the Delaware and Susquehannock. Valerie is an integral member of Gaia, and of the Body of Christ, an ambulatory who sows seeds, an interpreter of meaning with gifts of guidance, moral power, and restoration.
Wild Lectionary is a weekly blog on ecological justice themes in scripture, curated by Laurel Dykstra, gathering priest of Salal + Cedar, Coast Salish Territory.